The University of Maryland announced Tuesday that students should plan not to return to campus until at least April 10 after they depart for spring break this week.
In a campuswide email signed by university President Wallace Loh, the school announced that students should not return to campus for an additional week after spring break, and that all classroom instruction will be conducted online from March 30 to at least April 10.
From March 23 to 29, classes will be canceled, but the university will remain open — staff are expected to continue reporting for work, according to the email.
Faculty training to move instruction online is underway, and will continue through March 27, according to the email.
Students who live in dorms won’t be allowed back until April 10, a university spokesperson told The Diamondback. Those with extenuating circumstances — such as international students or students without a permanent address — can request special permission to stay through the Resident Life Department’s website, the spokesperson added.
Graduate students who work or conduct research on campus should speak with their supervisors about how they will continue to work from March 23 to March 29, according to the email.
The decision comes after Maryland officials confirmed the state’s ninth case of COVID-19 in a news release this evening. Currently, there are three positive cases in Prince George’s County, five in Montgomery County and one in Harford County.
Starting March 30, classroom instruction will begin online. Students will be instructed on how to access their courses online, according to the email. Additionally, the Division of Information Technology is planning to send out a survey to students to better understand any unmet technology needs they have.
“These temporary measures will be inconvenient, even disruptive,” the email read. “We will all have to operate in a different learning and working environment. We will manage the transition to online platforms with as minimal interruption as possible.”
The university also announced that Maryland Day is canceled this year. Whether spring commencement ceremonies will follow suit is a decision that’s pending, according to the email.
The email also discouraged hosting and attending any “non-essential” large gatherings and reiterated its recommendation that campus community members practice “social distancing” by maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others.